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Sunday, January 15, 2023


Second Sunday After Epiphany

Our Lady of Prompt Succor 

Acts, Chapter 16, Verse 19

When her owners saw that their HOPE of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them to the public square before the local authorities. 

The “her” in this verse is a slave who was possessed by a spirit of divination: she had the power of fortune-telling. Paul had commanded that the spirit release her in the name of Christ and she was now worthless to her owners. Do you think things have changed; do we still have owners of fortune tellers who are trying to suppress the truth? Consider the state of our modern journalists and spinsters is their work closer to truth or fortune telling? 

ON KEEPING THE LORD'S DAY HOLY[1]

CHAPTER I

DIES DOMINI

The Celebration of the Creator's Work

From the Sabbath to Sunday

18. Because the Third Commandment depends upon the remembrance of God's saving works and because Christians saw the definitive time inaugurated by Christ as a new beginning, they made the first day after the Sabbath a festive day, for that was the day on which the Lord rose from the dead. The Paschal Mystery of Christ is the full revelation of the mystery of the world's origin, the climax of the history of salvation and the anticipation of the eschatological fulfilment of the world. What God accomplished in Creation and wrought for his People in the Exodus has found its fullest expression in Christ's Death and Resurrection, though its definitive fulfilment will not come until the Parousia, when Christ returns in glory. In him, the "spiritual" meaning of the Sabbath is fully realized, as Saint Gregory the Great declares: "For us, the true Sabbath is the person of our Redeemer, our Lord Jesus Christ". This is why the joy with which God, on humanity's first Sabbath, contemplates all that was created from nothing, is now expressed in the joy with which Christ, on Easter Sunday, appeared to his disciples, bringing the gift of peace and the gift of the Spirit (cf. Jn 20:19-23). It was in the Paschal Mystery that humanity, and with it the whole creation, "groaning in birth-pangs until now" (Rom 8:22), came to know its new "exodus" into the freedom of God's children who can cry out with Christ, "Abba, Father!" (Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6). In the light of this mystery, the meaning of the Old Testament precept concerning the Lord's Day is recovered, perfected and fully revealed in the glory which shines on the face of the Risen Christ (cf. 2 Cor 4:6). We move from the "Sabbath" to the "first day after the Sabbath", from the seventh day to the first day: the dies Domini becomes the dies Christi!

Second Sunday after Epiphany[2]

Christ manifests His divinity and His mystical union with the Church with His first miracle at the Wedding of Cana.

THE Introit the Church invites us to thank God for the incarnation of His only begotten Son: “Let all the earth adore Thee, and sing to Thee, O God; let it sing a psalm to Thy name, shout with joy to God, all the earth, sing ye a psalm to His name, give glory to His praise”.

 

Prayer.

 

Almighty and everlasting God, “Who dost govern all things in heaven and on earth, mercifully hear the prayers of Thy people, and grant us Thy peace in our days”. Amen.

EPISTLE.

Rom. xii. 6-16. Brethren:

We have different gifts, according to the grace that is given us: either prophecy, to be used according to the rule of faith, or ministry in ministering, or he that teacheth in doctrine, he that exhorteth in exhorting, he that giveth with simplicity, he that ruleth with carefulness, he that showeth mercy with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Hating that which is evil, cleaving to that which is good: loving one another with the charity of brotherhood: with honor preventing one another: in carefulness not slothful: in spirit fervent: serving the Lord: rejoicing in hope: patient in tribulation: instant in prayer; communicating to the necessities of the saints: pursuing hospitality. Bless them that persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that rejoice, weep with them that weep: being of one mind one towards another: not minding high things, but consenting to the humble. Be not wise in your own conceits.

 

What lesson does the Apostle give us in this epistle?

 

That we should hate that which is evil, and love that which is good; that we should love one another, and practice works of mercy; that we should be solicitous and fervent, as in the service of God. We should cooperate with the grace of God, and pray instantly.

PRACTICAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR SUPERIORS.

They must expect a severe judgment who seek office only for the sake of emolument, caring little for their duty, and regarding bribes and presents rather than justice.

 

Aspiration.

 

O God, give us Thy grace to follow faithfully what St. Paul teaches us of humility and charity, that we may have compassion on all who are in need, and not exalt ourselves above our neighbors, but, humbling ourselves with the humble, may merit, with them, to be exalted. Amen.

 

GOSPEL. John ii. 1-11


 

At that time there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and the Mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus also was invited, and His disciples, to the marriage. And the wine failing, the Mother of Jesus saith to Him: They have no wine. And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is to Me and to thee? My hour is not yet come. His Mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever He shall say to you, do ye. Now there were set there six water-pots of stone, according to the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three measures apiece. Jesus saith to them: Fill the water-pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And Jesus saith to them: Draw out now and carry to the chief steward of the feast. And they carried it. And when the chief steward had tasted the water made wine, and knew not whence it was, but the waiters knew who had drawn the water: the chief steward calleth the bridegroom, and saith to him: Every man at first setteth forth good wine, and when men have well drank, then that which is worse; but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.

 

Why was Jesus present at the wedding with His Mother and disciples?

 

1. In order there to reveal His majesty, and by that means to establish and confirm the belief in His divinity.

2. To show that marriage is pleasing to God.

3. To let us understand how pious the bridegroom and bride were.

4. To teach us that those pleasures are permitted which are in accordance with reason and Christianity, and neither sinful nor leading to sin.

 

Why did Mary intercede for the bride and bridegroom when the wine was failing?

 

She was sorry for them, for she is the tender-hearted mediatrix of the afflicted and destitute. Besides, the number of the guests had been considerably increased by the presence of Jesus and His disciples, so that the wine was not sufficient for all. 

What is the meaning of the words, “Woman, what is that to Me and to thee?” 

According to the idiom of the Hebrew language, they mean as much as, Mother, be not anxious; I will provide the wine as soon as the hour appointed by My Father is come. Jesus did not mean to rebuke His Mother, but He thus gave her and all who were present, to understand that He had not received the power of working miracles as the son of woman, but that He possessed it as the Son of God and should use it according to the will of His Father.

Lent is a month away[3]

The Second Sunday in Ordinary Time is exactly 31 days before Ash Wednesday. The Church has entered Tempus ad Annum, "The Season Throughout the Year," most commonly referred to as "Ordinary Time" and will soon enter the six-week period of Lent culminating in the heart of the Liturgy and the Liturgical Year: Easter, the Paschal Feast. Although not a liturgical season of the Church, the weeks after Christmas are unofficially known as "Carnival," a season of balls, parades, parties and rich food. There is no set beginning as Carnival begins on various dates all over the world. Rio de Janeiro and Venice begin two and a half weeks before Ash Wednesday. Most Americans are familiar with the South Louisiana Mardi Gras which begins on Epiphany.

Regardless of when Carnival begins or how it is celebrated, the celebration intensifies the closer it gets to the beginning of Lent and comes to screeching halt on Ash Wednesday.

The word "carnival" literally means "farewell to meat." In earlier times in the Church, Lenten fasting, and abstinence had more stringent rules. Foods such as meat, butter, cheese, milk, eggs, fat, and bacon were all forbidden in Lent, so Carnival was a time to indulge and use up (and not waste) these foods. While Lent doesn't have the formerly strict regulations, the word carnival in a broad sense is also saying farewell to fleshly or worldly pleasures (even if they are mere indulgences and not sinful) before our Lenten penances and mortifications.

Carnival's Spiritual Connections

For centuries, all over the world, this has been known as a time for preparing for Lent. "Preparing for Lent" is an odd way to describe what goes on during Carnival, but it does have religious connections. Perhaps some have forgotten the original intention, but Carnival is a time of mental and physical preparation for the Lenten time of self-denial. This is a time for family, food and fun before we face Ash Wednesday and fill our days with prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

Although it seems like such a secular and materialistic celebration, without the spiritual grounding there can be no Carnival. As Josef Pieper explains:

Wherever festivity can freely vent itself in all its possible forms, an event is produced that leaves no zone of life, worldly or spiritual, untouched.... There are worldly, but there are no purely profane, festivals. And we may presume that not only can we not find them, but that they cannot exist. A festival without gods is a non-concept, is inconceivable. For example, Carnival remains festive only where Ash Wednesday still exists. To eliminate Ash Wednesday is to eliminate the Carnival itself. Yet Ash Wednesday is obviously a day in Christendom's liturgical year (Josef Pieper, 1963, pp 33-34).

And Bernard Strasser elaborates on this spiritual connection:

These carnival days in particular contain a remarkable lesson of spirituality for us. According to their origin and the Church's intention they are anything but days of thoughtless conviviality, and certainly not of dissolute merrymaking. They are not a carryover from pagan times, of which the Church was unable to destroy the memory and observance. Rather are they an integral part of the Church year, with the significant task of illustrating graphically the first part of the Church's sermon text for this season: "You are fools, all of you who seek your final end in earthly things! I your Mother will during the coming weeks of Lent show you where true happiness may be found, Who it is that brought it, and how He merited it for us" (Carnival and Ashes,  Orate Fratres: A Liturgical Review, Vol. XVII, No. 4, 146).

Of course, over the centuries there have been abuses of extremes, and the Church has counterbalanced by providing spiritual balance, such as encouragement for Shriving (confessions), Eucharist Adoration, especially the Forty Hours devotion before Ash Wednesday. 

There is a juxtaposition of Carnival and Lent. As Pieper mentioned that Carnival festivity "leaves no zone of life, worldly or spiritual, untouched," similar to our observance of Lent. The Church gives us this time to reexamine and reorder all aspects of our life. We can see the contrast of Carnival indulgence and Lenten fasting not just in foods, but all areas of life.

Balancing Family Fun Time

Maria von Trapp in Around the Year with the Trapp Family recognized Carnival as a time for family celebration. She suggested using this time of "merry-making" for dancing, singing, games, parties and gatherings with family and friends. Perhaps some of her suggestions seem subdued and old-fashioned for a very electronically connected generation, but her emphasis was to enjoy the togetherness. Our attention is focused outward nurturing family connections and friendships, with opportunities in practicing dancing and music. The opposite is true in the season of Lent: it is a season to reduce social activities, to turn off the extra noise and visuals (electronics) and to turn inward to talk to and listen to God.

In the modern world our lives are not as connected to the days and the seasons of nature except as inconvenience or enjoyment. Many of us are also disconnected to the rhythm of the Liturgical Year, with its contrasting seasons and feasts. Maria von Trapp explained this so beautifully:

Nobody could stand a Thanksgiving Day dinner every day of the year. There can only be mountains if there are also valleys. It is a pity that the Reformation did away not only with most of the sacraments and all of the sacramentals, but also, unfortunately, with the very breath of the Mystical Body — that wonderful, eternal rhythm of high and low tide that makes up the year of the Church: times of waiting alternate with times of fulfillment, the lean weeks of Lent with the feasts of Easter and Pentecost, times of mourning with seasons of rejoicing. Modern man lost track of this. Deep down in the human heart, however, is imbedded the craving to celebrate, and, in a dumb way, the other craving to abstain, perhaps to atone. In general, these cravings are no longer directed in seasonal channels, as they are for the Catholic, or even for the aborigine who participates in some tribal religious belief..... 

It should be our noble right and duty to bring up our children in such a way that they become conscious of high tide and low tide, that they learn that there is "a time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to dance." The rhythm of nature as it manifests itself in the four seasons, in day and night, in the individual's heartbeat and breathing — this rhythm we should learn to recognize, and to treat with more reverence. Modern man has become used to turning day into night and night into day according to his whim or pleasure. He has managed to lose contact completely with himself. He has lost the instinct for the right food and drink, stuffing himself with huge quantities of the wrong things and feeding himself sick. But worst of all, and this sounds almost ridiculous, in the process of growing up he forgot the right kind of breathing....

Again, it is our faithful friend, Holy Mother Church, who leads her children first back to nature in order to make them ready to receive supernatural grace. "Gratia supponit naturam."

Looked upon in this light, the weeks of Carnival are a most necessary time for the individual as well as for families and communities. This period is set aside for us to "let off steam," "to have a good time." And for this we need company. Therefore, Carnival is most obviously the season for parties and family get-togethers...with the avowed intention of having that good time together. Carnival is the time to be social, to give and to receive invitations for special parties. It is the time to celebrate as a parish group... (Maria von Trapp, Around the Year with the Trapp Family, Carnival or Mardi Gras).

Mrs. Trapp shared different activities that her family enjoyed, such as folk dancing, singing folk songs, and playing games. Growing up my family enjoyed similar ideas, even though we weren't as musical as the Trapp Family. We loved to learn songs in rounds or harmony to sing together. Other ideas: taking hikes that end singing around a campfire, and Bunco parties, which any age can enjoy. Our local homeschool group just had a sock-hop open to all ages, and checkers and chess tournaments on cold winter days. Some gatherings can be quiet, like family movie nights with popcorn. And don't forget just nurturing mothers with little social gatherings, maybe with themes like a little craft or recipe exchange or just coffee or wine and adult conversation. I have hosted socials where my friends and family come to learn and practice writing pysanky (Ukrainian Easter eggs). Later in Lent we have quiet times where we work on our eggs as meditative work, but during Carnival time it's more of a fun social gathering. The object is to enjoy this time with others.

Carnival is a season with a spiritual focus that encompasses the entire person. It provides contrasts with the spiritual and material, with feasting and fasting, and with Ordinary Time and Lent. We can embrace this time and find ways for merry making, focusing on family and friends to highlight those contrasts in preparation for Lent. Happy Carnival Time!

Our Lady of Prompt Succor[4] 


The national votive shrine of our lady of prompt succor serves God and all God’s people as the center of devotion to the Mother of Jesus under the title of Our Lady of Prompt Succor—Our Lady of Quick Help.  The Shrine is a place of pilgrimage, worship and prayer.  It welcomes all who try to live in faith and love, with a special commitment to those whose hope and trust in Mary lead them to seek her motherly care and consolation. 

Since 1727, long before her statue arrived on November 10th,1810 and was enshrined in the Ursuline Convent Chapel in the French Quarter, devotion to Notre Dame de Prompt Secours had spread among the Ursuline Sisters, their students and the women and men of New Orleans. Prayers for deliverance from wars, fire, pestilence, disease, storms, despair and hopelessness were made to Our Lady of Prompt Succor. 

In 1815, in gratitude for the miracle of America's victory over the British in the Battle of New Orleans, the Ursulines, along with Bishop Louis Du Bourg, made a promise to celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving each year on the feast day of Our Lady of Prompt Succor. 

In 1895, the statue, gilded in gold, was crowned by Decree of His Holiness, Pope Leo XIII; and in 1928, the Holy See approved and confirmed the naming of Our Lady of Prompt Succor as the Principal Patroness of the City of New Orleans and of the State of Louisiana. Standing in the central niche over the main altar on State Street, she welcomes all who come to honor her, to thank her for intercession, and to pray for her help and protection, not only from global wars and devastating storms, but, also, in overcoming greater enemies…poverty, illness, ignorance, racism and violence.

 

A woman of Influence[5]

 

Taking Mary’s virtues to work

The hour is coming, in fact has come, when the vocation of woman is being acknowledged in its fullness, the hour in which women acquire in the world an influence, an effect, and a power never hitherto achieved. That is why, at this moment when the human race is undergoing so deep a transformation, women impregnated with a spirit of the Gospel can do so much to aid humanity in not falling.” (Closing speeches Vatican Council II, 12/8/65).

Mother Mary is a perfect role model for all women, of course, but for women who work in particular. According to St. Louis de Montfort, Mary has principal virtues, which when practiced help to lead us to her Son and create a home and world that celebrates the greatness of the Lord.

·       Profound Humility:  Are you focused on others more than yourself? Do you recognize the work of the team, or are you taking credit for the work? Do you care who gets the credit? Does this impact the way you treat others? 

·       Ardent Charity:  How can you demonstrate great love at work? This is not the same love as a spousal love, of course. How do you approach your employees? Your supervisors? Your clients? Your customers? Is your approach focused on valuing a relationship more than a material good? Are you able to articulate information and ideas in a mutually respectful way?

·       Angelic Sweetness:  Is your approach nurturing and relational? Do you avoid calumniation of fellow co-workers and supervisors? Even when difficult, do you respond to others at work by extending grace and mercy?

·       Heroic Patience:  Do you really listen at work? Are you able to rise above a situation in order to assist others as they learn new tasks? Do you hold your temper or judgment about your supervisor when you disagree with them? Are you willing in your attitude to seek understanding of others, even when it is difficult?

·       Divine Wisdom:  Recalling your baptism, and especially your confirmation, do you recall and use the gifts of the Holy Spirit in your work decisions? Do you pray for guidance? Do you seek Biblical and Church tradition answers and solutions? Do you show gratitude to God when you recognize divine wisdom at work?

Mary’s virtues bring us to a very feminine leadership style: one steeped in relationship building, not shying away from truth or faith, but approaching others in grace. When practiced at work, these virtues of Our Lady can lead us to Holiness and a fulfilled leadership at the job.

National Bagel Day-Munch on this doughy, holey bread at every meal, bake your own or host a bagel party to sample a variety of delicious fillings and toppings.[6] 


https://news.dunkindonuts.com/blog/dunkin-goes-bogo-for-national-bagel-day 

National Hat Day- National Hat Day seeks to celebrate the different styles and types of hats. This day encourages everyone to wear their favorite hat whether that be one that is comfortable, stylistic, or that stands out. People have worn hats for thousands of years whether to protect themselves from the elements or to show status. Today, people still wear hats for similar reasons. No matter the reason, on National Hat Day all hats are celebrated today.[7] 

Catechism of the Catholic Church 

IV. OFFENSES AGAINST THE DIGNITY OF MARRIAGE 

Adultery

 

2380 Adultery refers to marital infidelity. When two partners, of whom at least one is married to another party, have sexual relations - even transient ones - they commit adultery. Christ condemns even adultery of mere desire. The sixth commandment and the New Testament forbid adultery absolutely. The prophets denounce the gravity of adultery; they see it as an image of the sin of idolatry.

 

2381 Adultery is an injustice. He who commits adultery fails in his commitment. He does injury to the sign of the covenant which the marriage bond is, transgresses the rights of the other spouse, and undermines the institution of marriage by breaking the contract on which it is based. He compromises the good of human generation and the welfare of children who need their parents' stable union. 

Daily Devotions

·       Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no shopping after 6 pm Saturday till Monday. Don’t forget the internet.

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Families of St. Joseph Porters

·       Religion in the Home for Preschool: January

·       Carnival Time begins in Catholic Countries.

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Rosary

 33 Day Total Consecration to St. Joseph-Day 1

Why Consecrate to St. Joseph?


[2]Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.

[4] https://www.shrineofourladyofpromptsuccor.com/

[5]http://www.integratedcatholiclife.org/2013/01/wallace-everyday-example-of-mary-for-women-who-work/

[6] https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/bagel-day/

[7] https://www.wincalendar.com/Hat-Day



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